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11-Day Venice, Croatia, Montenegro, and Greek Islands. Fantastic itinerary! Breathtaking views on excursions and when entering & leaving ports! Heartstopping sunsets! No "at sea" days! I can't say enough good things about the Norwegian Star staff. Everywhere I went, I was greeted with a warm, genuine smile, an enthusiastic welcome (and hand sanitizer), people asking how my day was, people asking if they could help me with anything. The Norwegian Star staff really made my vacation special! Norwegian staff were were there to help every step of the way. This was my first cruise, so I was relieved that clear instructions were always provided (and repeated multiple times), and important notifications (such as time zone changes and tendering procedures) were provided both on a print flyer delivered to my cabin, and in announcements over the loudspeaker. Read the daily flyers! A wide variety of activities was offered at all times of day and night. There was something for everyone! Norwegian Star offered activities and facilities for all different age groups, for solo travelers as well as couples, and for morning persons as well as night owls. Embarkation, disembarkation, and transportation (the cruise line transfers) were seamless. Having never cruised before, I was grateful that the written disembarkation instructions--which were delivered to my cabin in advance--clearly explained everything I needed to know about disembarkation, luggage, customs, and the airport transfer. My room steward reminded me when I needed to set my clock forward/back and on the night before disembarkation he reminded me that my luggage needed to be placed outside my door for pick-up by 11pm. I took eight Norwegian shore excursions. There was a wide variety of excursions offered, whether you want to exercise (hike, bike, kayak), or have a cultural experience, or a food & wine experience, or a beach day, ... There was an excursion available to satisfy any preference. The excursions I took were enjoyable and informative, and the views were spectacular! The guides were enthusiastic and full of knowledge. The only downside is that sometimes the wait times (standing in line) were extremely long (Melissani and Drogarati Cave), and sometimes the driving times were very long (Athens and Its Scenic Coast) but I didn't mind at all, because the view out the bus window was spectacular in both cases, and after hiking around the Acropolis in the sun, time on the bus to rest my feet and enjoy a beautiful coastal view before the next stop was welcome! Specialty Dining Restaurants: Le Bistro was superb! (I dined there twice!) La Cucina The service was excellent, and my appetizer (spaghetti carbonara) was outstanding, but my entree (osso buco) was disappointing because it had a thick salty overpowering brown sauce. It didn't taste at all like the osso buco that I've had in nice Italian restaurants. Cagney's was very good (but I'm from a large metropolitan city, so I've had better). Moderno was merely so-so; I wouldn't go back there unless it were complimentary. Buffet: Breakfast was good, but lunch and dinner and dessert were awful. One huge complaint I have about the buffet is that the quality and variety of fruit was poor. It was the same 4 fruits every day: apples, oranges, bananas, and melons. I don't like any of those. I was expecting berries, mangoes, papayas, kiwis, passion fruit. There were NEVER ANY BERRIES or any interesting fruits. The buffet entrees were oversalted. There were some theme days, such as German Food Day, Asian Food Day, Italian Food Day, etc. (I was disappointed that there was no Greek food, anywhere, ever, given that this was a Greek Islands cruise.) Vegetarian dishes were always available. The carving station was always good. I tried one dessert, and it was so horrible that I never tried dessert from the buffet again. It looked like flourless chocolate cake, but it tasted like a mouthful of powdered sugar with a flattened gummy bear on top. Kids would love it, adults would be well advised to stick to the soft ice cream. Buffet Salad Bar: Good quality (fresh), but lacking variety. Every day the same offerings: lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, cabbage, spicy cooked green beans, and chickpeas. I would like to see some spinach, arugula, fresh broccoli, ... some variety. One day they also had beets and black beans at the salad bar, and I was happy to see that! Aqua and Versailles (Main Dining Rooms): I ate 3 dinners in the main dining rooms. The food was okay, but never wowed me. On the other hand, I had some AMAZING appetizers and desserts in the main dining rooms: The grilled vegetables with herbed olive oil and goat cheese was brilliant! The chocolate lava cake (warm center) with ice cream and strawberry sauce was to die for! That was better than any of the desserts I had in the specialty restaurants! The server always asked whether I had any food allergies. Servers were attentive and friendly. I also noticed another gentleman (not a server) who was ubiquitous in the restaurants--I will refer to him as "The Perfectionist"--He would walk around discreetly (and quickly) picking up anything that a guest may have dropped on the floor, and he would look for and quietly correct any other imperfections in the service and/or the appearance of the restaurant. In other words, he was trying to ensure that all dining guests would have a flawless dining experience. Alcoholic Beverages: Red wine is too warm. The quality of the mixed alcoholic drinks was poor, for the most part. The Margarita and the Mai Tai that I ordered at Spice H2O -- on two different days -- tasted awful and they were so sweet that I couldn't drink them. I was expecting the Margarita to be made from fresh lime juice, not a glass full of margarita mix. Lesson learned. I had the same reaction to the Strawberry Caprihinia that I ordered at the Sugarcane Mojito Bar. It tasted like a mix that came out of a cardboard carton. I was expecting a handcrafted cocktail. One tasty drink that I had on the cruise was the lavender martini at Gatsby's. Also, some of the frozen drinks were quite tasty (but weak): Try the Buschwacker and the BBC if you like frozen drinks. Not for dieters. Entertainment: The most fun entertainment (to my surprise) were the comical movie parodies performed in the Bliss Lounge by the cruise director and his staff, after each one of which, the cruise guests had to guess which movie was being comically reenacted. It was hilarious! I nearly fell out of my chair laughing multiple times! The event was called "Movie Sketch" or something like that. I almost didn't attend, but I'm so glad I did! I also enjoyed the aerialists, the tap dancers, and the guy who balanced the 65 pounds of stacked wine glasses. "Vegas! The Show" was okay. The magician was okay. Sports & Recreation: There is a walking/jogging track on the top deck, a fitness center, shuffleboard, golf, and a variety of other activities for those who want to stay fit. Cruise Director (on the July 7-18, 2019 Cruise): Listening to this guy was some of the BEST entertainment on the Norwegian Star! He was hilarious! Seriously, the cruise would not have been the same with a different cruise director. I don't recall his name, but he's Australian.

Excellent itinerary, service, and staff. Mediocre food & entertainment.

Norwegian Star Cruise Review by Traveler_for_Life

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
11-Day Venice, Croatia, Montenegro, and Greek Islands. Fantastic itinerary! Breathtaking views on excursions and when entering & leaving ports! Heartstopping sunsets! No "at sea" days!

I can't say enough good things about the Norwegian Star staff. Everywhere I went, I was greeted with a warm, genuine smile, an enthusiastic welcome (and hand sanitizer), people asking how my day was, people asking if they could help me with anything. The Norwegian Star staff really made my vacation special!

Norwegian staff were were there to help every step of the way. This was my first cruise, so I was relieved that clear instructions were always provided (and repeated multiple times), and important notifications (such as time zone changes and tendering procedures) were provided both on a print flyer delivered to my cabin, and in announcements over the loudspeaker. Read the daily flyers!

A wide variety of activities was offered at all times of day and night. There was something for everyone! Norwegian Star offered activities and facilities for all different age groups, for solo travelers as well as couples, and for morning persons as well as night owls.

Embarkation, disembarkation, and transportation (the cruise line transfers) were seamless. Having never cruised before, I was grateful that the written disembarkation instructions--which were delivered to my cabin in advance--clearly explained everything I needed to know about disembarkation, luggage, customs, and the airport transfer. My room steward reminded me when I needed to set my clock forward/back and on the night before disembarkation he reminded me that my luggage needed to be placed outside my door for pick-up by 11pm.

I took eight Norwegian shore excursions. There was a wide variety of excursions offered, whether you want to exercise (hike, bike, kayak), or have a cultural experience, or a food & wine experience, or a beach day, ... There was an excursion available to satisfy any preference. The excursions I took were enjoyable and informative, and the views were spectacular! The guides were enthusiastic and full of knowledge. The only downside is that sometimes the wait times (standing in line) were extremely long (Melissani and Drogarati Cave), and sometimes the driving times were very long (Athens and Its Scenic Coast) but I didn't mind at all, because the view out the bus window was spectacular in both cases, and after hiking around the Acropolis in the sun, time on the bus to rest my feet and enjoy a beautiful coastal view before the next stop was welcome!

Specialty Dining Restaurants: Le Bistro was superb! (I dined there twice!) La Cucina The service was excellent, and my appetizer (spaghetti carbonara) was outstanding, but my entree (osso buco) was disappointing because it had a thick salty overpowering brown sauce. It didn't taste at all like the osso buco that I've had in nice Italian restaurants. Cagney's was very good (but I'm from a large metropolitan city, so I've had better). Moderno was merely so-so; I wouldn't go back there unless it were complimentary.

Buffet: Breakfast was good, but lunch and dinner and dessert were awful. One huge complaint I have about the buffet is that the quality and variety of fruit was poor. It was the same 4 fruits every day: apples, oranges, bananas, and melons. I don't like any of those. I was expecting berries, mangoes, papayas, kiwis, passion fruit. There were NEVER ANY BERRIES or any interesting fruits. The buffet entrees were oversalted. There were some theme days, such as German Food Day, Asian Food Day, Italian Food Day, etc. (I was disappointed that there was no Greek food, anywhere, ever, given that this was a Greek Islands cruise.) Vegetarian dishes were always available. The carving station was always good. I tried one dessert, and it was so horrible that I never tried dessert from the buffet again. It looked like flourless chocolate cake, but it tasted like a mouthful of powdered sugar with a flattened gummy bear on top. Kids would love it, adults would be well advised to stick to the soft ice cream.

Buffet Salad Bar: Good quality (fresh), but lacking variety. Every day the same offerings: lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, cabbage, spicy cooked green beans, and chickpeas. I would like to see some spinach, arugula, fresh broccoli, ... some variety. One day they also had beets and black beans at the salad bar, and I was happy to see that!

Aqua and Versailles (Main Dining Rooms): I ate 3 dinners in the main dining rooms. The food was okay, but never wowed me. On the other hand, I had some AMAZING appetizers and desserts in the main dining rooms: The grilled vegetables with herbed olive oil and goat cheese was brilliant! The chocolate lava cake (warm center) with ice cream and strawberry sauce was to die for! That was better than any of the desserts I had in the specialty restaurants! The server always asked whether I had any food allergies. Servers were attentive and friendly. I also noticed another gentleman (not a server) who was ubiquitous in the restaurants--I will refer to him as "The Perfectionist"--He would walk around discreetly (and quickly) picking up anything that a guest may have dropped on the floor, and he would look for and quietly correct any other imperfections in the service and/or the appearance of the restaurant. In other words, he was trying to ensure that all dining guests would have a flawless dining experience.

Alcoholic Beverages: Red wine is too warm. The quality of the mixed alcoholic drinks was poor, for the most part. The Margarita and the Mai Tai that I ordered at Spice H2O -- on two different days -- tasted awful and they were so sweet that I couldn't drink them. I was expecting the Margarita to be made from fresh lime juice, not a glass full of margarita mix. Lesson learned. I had the same reaction to the Strawberry Caprihinia that I ordered at the Sugarcane Mojito Bar. It tasted like a mix that came out of a cardboard carton. I was expecting a handcrafted cocktail. One tasty drink that I had on the cruise was the lavender martini at Gatsby's. Also, some of the frozen drinks were quite tasty (but weak): Try the Buschwacker and the BBC if you like frozen drinks. Not for dieters.

Entertainment: The most fun entertainment (to my surprise) were the comical movie parodies performed in the Bliss Lounge by the cruise director and his staff, after each one of which, the cruise guests had to guess which movie was being comically reenacted. It was hilarious! I nearly fell out of my chair laughing multiple times! The event was called "Movie Sketch" or something like that. I almost didn't attend, but I'm so glad I did!

I also enjoyed the aerialists, the tap dancers, and the guy who balanced the 65 pounds of stacked wine glasses. "Vegas! The Show" was okay. The magician was okay.

Sports & Recreation: There is a walking/jogging track on the top deck, a fitness center, shuffleboard, golf, and a variety of other activities for those who want to stay fit.

Cruise Director (on the July 7-18, 2019 Cruise): Listening to this guy was some of the BEST entertainment on the Norwegian Star! He was hilarious! Seriously, the cruise would not have been the same with a different cruise director. I don't recall his name, but he's Australian.
Traveler_for_Life’s Full Rating Summary
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Family Balcony
Cabin B3 8026
My balcony cabin was fantastic! I was amazed by how much overall space and how much storage (hangars, hooks, and shelves) were provided. Everything functioned perfectly, and much to my shock and amazement, the bed was comfortable!!
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